- Although primarily referring to inhabitants of Greece, there was a wider usage; persons who had a knowledge of Greek culture or who lived in sophisticated cities of the Roman Empire were naturally ‘Greeks’, whereas the local rustics were ‘barbarians’ (Acts 28:2, AV, translating the Greek literally). ‘Greeks’ is also used of Gentiles in general (2 Macc. 4:36), so that ‘Jews and Greeks’ means in effect the whole human race (Rom. 2:9–10). A deputation of Greeks arrived unexpectedly to see Jesus (John 12:21); but they were already sympathetic to Jewish monotheism (John 12:20).
Dictionary of the Bible.
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